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CDA Competency Statement I "to Establish and Maintain a Safe, Healthy Learning Environment."

Ashly has been awarded her Child Development Associate with the CDA Council for preschool aged children and shares some resources.

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Competency Statement 1

"To Establish and Maintain a Safe and Healthy Learning Environment."


SAFE

Safety and Health of our preschoolers in a healthy learning environment is a primary practice to ensure the best learning environment possible. Teachers. Staff, parents and even students working in a cooperative and effective matter together make this work smoothly, by keeping open communication, clear guidelines, standards and expectations and following safe practices.



Examples

  • Constant head count of children, communication and confirmations between all staff
  • Children's personal belongings and spaces are labeled by name a photo
  • Attendance & Sign In/Out sheets in class
  • Adult to child ratio maintained at all times
  • Individual and class Documentation
  • ID checks
  • Emergency & Evacuation plans & Clear and labeled Emergency Exits
  • Fire/Tornado drills routinely for all staff and children
  • Staff & Emergency Phone Lists Posted
  • Children have individual files for health records, transportation and contact information
  • Accessible First Aid bag with teachers at all times
  • Outlets are covered, cords are hidden, rugs and carpets flat and secure, non toxic materials are used and Dangerous substances are out of reach of children.



Promoting safety

Promoting safety

Healthy

Maintaining a healthy learning environment in the classroom helps ensure a safer learning environment for everyone. This is accomplished by doing daily health checks, ensuring children are up to date on immunizations, and teaching safe indoor and outdoor classroom practices. The children are taught how to treat their environment, toys, and equipment with care and respect. We daily practice good hand-washing, personal and oral hygiene, and follow safety precautions in order to keep everyone involved safe, happy and healthy. By following health and safety standards and guidelines we minimize the spread of illness, viruses and accidents.



Examples

  • Vision/ Hearing Screenings available to all children
  • Safe practices are used in preparation, distribution and handling of food and equipment.
  • Staff will keep toys, tables, chairs, books, counters and equipment clean and sanitized and disinfected at all times.
  • Play areas are clean, open and easily accessible
  • Floors are swept and mopped
  • Surfaces are clean and sanitized and clutter free
  • Children each have a labeled change of clothes
  • Allergy & Health records on hand at all times
  • Nutritious meal/menu plans & family style meals


clean toys and materials regularly

clean toys and materials regularly

Learning Environment

To encourage a healthy and happy learning environment we grow and develop personal relationships with our children and their families through family surveys and questionnaires, school and home visits, and keeping open communication. Our goal is to provide a loving, nurturing environment where the children feel safe and comfortable. There is a daily schedule that helps create the structure and consistency for each day, which helps the children feel safe and familiar with what will happen daily. By providing a consistent daily schedule, creating a safe, healthy and nurturing environment the children can thrive, grow and learn at their own pace.


Examples

  • Family oriented learning environment
  • Culturally aware and diverse classroom environment
  • Children's artwork is displayed at eye level
  • Spacious design for easy transitioning
  • Safe Space available to all children
  • Sensory/hands on activities and materials
  • Daily Schedule is posted with words and pictures
  • Labeled age appropriate materials, activities and toys
  • Positive and pleasant interaction, communication and gestures
open classroom example

open classroom example

CSA 1 (a.b.c. examples)

CS I a :

When reviewing the weekly menu, I can see how it is planned in a way that offers variety and balanced nutrition. Well balanced meals offer vital essentials for growing bodies to support physical and mental nutrition with dairy, meat, vegetables, fruit and carbohydrates. Encouraging good eating habits and eating a balanced meal is an important part of implementing building blocks for growth and development of a healthy lifestyle. I personally did not create the menu, but there is very little I would change, however I would love to offer yogurt once or twice a week with breakfast. I would choose to add yogurt because it is full of natural probiotics to boost the immune system and create healthy digestion.



CS I b:

Concerning classroom design, I believe that children learn best through highly interactive play and activities that are self directed. In our room children can explore many accessible learning stations in a wide and spacious design, everything is placed at levels the children can reach and see and interact with that mock life and everyday materials. Easy navigation contributes to effective transitioning and a variety of learning experiences. I do wish we had a mini Doctor's office with medical play supplies and more props on human anatomy. However it has many strengths in itself the way that it is. The room is designed in such a way that children can learn best through dramatic play and self led activities.



CS I c:

When reviewing the lesson plan, I can observe how each activity through out the day is used to build a foundation for growth and education for the whole week based around the chosen theme and how to integrate that into different learning experiences and interest areas. The lesson plan covers so many areas of learning and play that each child will be able to relate and grow from the experience in one way or another. I believe children need consistency with the right balance of variety. They learn best when they are having fun through art, music, dance, and play. The plan is broad and yet detailed adding structure and balance while supporting various learning opportunities. There is nothing I would change when so many important areas are touched on.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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